We arrived at the airport and passed through customs, soon we were on the bus heading for our hotel room, which we had booked through Air BnB, after a short 15 minute walk in weather which was hotter than expected (we obviously didn’t research Hong Kong’s summer season very well). We arrived at our room (one single room in a local apartment block) and it was a far cry from the luxury we had been getting used to in Thailand. Never the less, it was clean, and it had a comfortable bed, that was enough.
We had to ignore the itch to explore just a little while, whilst we made our way to a shopping mall to apply for a Chinese Visa and then to a nearby train station in hopes of booking our ticket onto Beijing. First things first, right?
After applying for our visa and successfully booking an onward ticket (feeling pretty smug with our good luck) we headed to Tsim Tsa Shui waterfront for a look around and ended up in the dazzling Avenue of Stars. We’re not really into the whole idea of it, stars placed on the ground, some with handprints, others just with names, but we managed to find a few which tickled our fancy (don't worry, we are aware we are completely immature).
We were lucky to stumble into a restaurant that pulled out a little scrap bit of paper with an English translation of their menu on it. Our stomachs and stress levels were both very thankful for this little piece of paper. Call us crazy, but we weren’t into just pointing and ordering hoping it wasn’t chicken feet or pigs liver.
Gold Fish Market: Literally as it sounds, this is pretty much a pet street, here you can find anything from turtles to kittens and of course, your fair share of goldfish. We spent hours wandering this street before heading into a small dim sum restaurant for a tasty treat of steamed dim sum’s, fried dim sum’s and sweet corn soup.
Tim Ho Wan Restaurant: A little restaurant, which is famous amongst locals for being home to a Michelin Star Chef, and not just any, but the cheapest Michelin Star Chef in the world. We found this place online and after getting lost once (literally in the wrong suburb – thanks Justin) we found ourselves seated with anticipation for our order to arrive. We had ordered BBQ pork buns, fried pork dim sums, beef and egg rice and black sticky rice custard balls. It sounds simple right? I don’t know how he did it, but every bite tasted different, everything melted in your mouth and left you wanting more! All this for $14. Cheap not only for Hong Kong Standards but also for Michelin Star quality food.
After pigging out we headed to Sham Shui Po Market. A street linned with market stalls packed to the brim with all kinds of things, things you would expect to find in a garage sale. We purchased some Chinese lucky coins from an antique stand and continued to wander.
Victoria Peak: On the island of Hong Kong (rather than Kowloon, where we were staying) you can find Victoria Peak. A 15-20 minute tram ride takes you to the very top where you can watch the city below; we headed there at night (attempting to make sunset, but failing, regardless of how many times Justin made me run.) The sight was amazing to say the least; we ended up staying up there for at least an hour just watching the lights twinkle below us.
Kowloon Park: We walked to Kowloon Park from our apartment and wandered around there for a while, the park itself is really beautiful, and even has a public swimming pool, which was really, really calling our name, I don’t think they would have appreciated us diving in wearing underwear though. After our walk around, we headed back to the shopping mall to pick up our Passports that had a new visa proudly taking up a full page (thankfully).
Jade Market: A market which is pretty close to our apartment block we walked around in the 2 buildings which make up Jade Market until the heat became too much and we tucked back into our air-conditioned room. The heat in Hong Kong was so much more than expected, that’s saying a lot considering we have spent the past 4 months in SE Asia.
Symphony of lights: We walked down to the Cultural Center to have a look at the World In Colours Lantern Display. Then we waited around for an hour (and lost each other a few times) before finding a spot to plop our bums to watch the Symphony of Light show, a light and sound display put on every night. It’s a really amazing show, watching all the buildings light up in harmony, but the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ coming from the crowd, followed by one lone man clapping at the end of the show was pretty entertaining.